Have you ever watched documentaries on the Korean and Vietnam wars?
They often outline techniques used against American prisoners of war (POW). These documentaries might shed light on your own situation. The captors typically segregated American POWs by rank – to remove the influence and inspiration of leadership. Their captors also isolated them from each other – to keep the prisoners from drawing strength from their fellow POWs.
Their captors would then subject the POWs to both psychological and physical torture. Then the POWs would endure beatings and deprivation to weaken their resistance and make them lose heart. Their captors would also subject them to an endless stream of negative information – negative from the POW’s standpoint.
We need to dwell on God’s truths to counter Satan’s lies
This steady stream of negativity would include information of enemy victories and American defeats. Packaged with it would be the endless drone of how their country had forsaken them. The captors would try to convince them of their own guilt for committing atrocities against a peace-loving people. Finally, they would try convince prisoners of the superiority of Marxism and Communism.
People of faith share an experience similar to what I’ve just described. The enemy is holding believers captive in a culture which is hostile to their most cherished values and faith. It may seem that the devil seldom resorts to physical attacks (e.g. church shootings, church arson and vandalism) against believers. Instead, he often uses sickness and disease to distract and discourage us.
The devil will try to isolate us from each other and make us feel alone. He will separate us from our spiritual leadership. This keeps us from being inspired by them. The enemy will even try to make us feel as though God has abandoned us. Then, there is the steady stream of negativity. Using all the tools around us, the devil continues his endless campaign of misinformation. He uses tools like news media, entertainment, and co-workers. His goal is for us to lose hope.
Therefore, it’s important to be aware of his schemes that we may guard against them. We need to dwell on God’s truths to counter Satan’s lies. We have not lost. There is a prayer which God’s people have prayed for many centuries.
“Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
-Matthew 6:10 (NKJV)
God answers in a dramatic and powerful way. God’s promise is found in Psalm 46:10.
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth!”
-Psalm 46:10 (NKJV)
It is a promise that will never fail.
We can’t allow Satan to isolate us from our fellow believers, or we will believe we are all alone. We are not alone. For example, think of Elijah the prophet. He was tired and discouraged. Elijah even convinced himself that everyone in Israel had turned against God and was trying to extinguish him. (1 Kings 19)
We can’t allow Satan to isolate us from our fellow believers, or we will believe we are all alone.
Even though he was a great prophet, Elijah’s assessment of God’s people was incorrect. God preserved the faith of thousands of Israelites who had not forsaken Him. Nor had they turned to false gods.
Let us not forsake worshiping God and preaching the gospel. We will find strength from each other and inspiration from God’s word. Nor let us forget that, no matter what is going on around us, God remains sovereign. He is still working all things together for our good (Romans 8:28).
Finally, it is true, we’re in a “prison camp” of sorts. The enemy is trying to keep us stuck there. Satan seems to be making the rules. But God is ultimately in control. He causes all of Satan’s activities to work for His own benevolent purpose. They work to conform his people to the image of His Son, Jesus (Romans 8:29). God is forever turning our curses, scars and hurts into blessings (Deuteronomy 23:5).
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting,” (Psalm 139:23-24, NKJV). Amen.